Libya invites archaeology teams to excavate sites

There is interesting news in a Reuters report, Long-isolated Libya plans archaeology drive

Libya plans to invite the world’s top archaeologists to unearth its ancient past as it tries to lure more tourists after decades in isolation, the head of the government’s archaeology department said. …

We will open our arms to the best scientists from Japan to the United States. We will not exclude one major institution, be it Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne or Rome,” said Giuma Anag, chairman of the government’s archaeology department. …

The archaeology campaign is backed by leader Muammar Gaddafi’s most prominent son, Saif al-Islam, who recently approved setting up of a society for safeguarding archaeology that would coordinate the work of foreign and local researchers.

“It is a huge acceleration,” Anag told Reuters. “We never had this kind of support before.” …

With a low population and dry climate, Libya’s secrets are well preserved. Historians say the vast desert was once savannah that supported small communities of which little is known. …

Key discoveries were made in recent years by French researcher Andre Laronde at the ancient Greek port of Apollonia in Cyrenaica, birthplace of the philosopher and mathematician Erastosthenes.

The question for me is whether there might be papyri out there. Is anyone looking? Should someone be?

1 Response to “Libya invites archaeology teams to excavate sites”


  1. ikokki

    I cannot claim more knowledge than the average amateur but I can say (from what I have read over the years) is that the abundance of papyri is a purely Egyptian phenomenon. In well excavated desert countries like Israel, Jordan or Iraq very few papyri have been found and even fewer of them were literary. The Libyan desert will give out some papyri, there is little doubt about it, but not much or very high importance. Then again Palestine gave the Dead Sea Scrolls …